'Aliens 5' is Moving Ahead and Pretending Previous Films Don't Exist


The Alien franchise is alive and well - not bad for a franchise that started in 1979.  Not only is Neil Blomkamp directing Alien 5, but Ridley Scott is making the Prometheus sequel, currently called Alien: Covenant.  That's not just one sequel, but two!

As for Alien 5, it's going to be starring Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, last seen together in Aliens, the 1986 James Cameron sequel to Alien (the film, which is often considered to be the best of the entire franchise!)  Why are Biehn and Weaver together?

Because Alien 5 is going to be a direct sequel to Aliens!  That's right, it's the sequel we always wanted, but didn't get all the way back in 1992, when David Fincher directed Alien 3, a film that led to Alien: Resurrection, the fourth in the series.  In those previous films, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) died in the third, and then was resurrected as a clone in the fourth; neither film was received very well.

This new sequel is going to simply pretend that the previous films didn't exist.

I have mixed feelings about this.  While I'm excited that I'll get the sequel I always wanted, it annoys me to no end when franchises simply ignore the previous films within a franchise, as if they can just ignore decades of history by waving their hand and saying "re-do."

As a fan of the franchise, I went to see those previous films because they were the sequels to a property that I loved.  

But I also went and sat in a theater and spent two hours of my life watching them, I paid my hard earned money to buy tickets.

 So to be told a decade later, to just pretend they didn't exist is frustrating, to say the least.

Also, it sort of makes the sacrifice of the Ripley character in the third film meaningless.  Here's my thinking:  In the third film, they wanted the dramatic ending of having Ripley die.  Fair enough.  Ripley dies and it was indeed a dramatic moment.

 But then in the fourth film, they decide they still want to use Ripley, so instead of getting a natural progressed story, we get a film where she's a clone.  Then in the fifth film, they just bring her back entirely and pretend the previous two films didn't exist.  My thinking is if you want to have the guts to kill off a character, that's fine, but live with the consequences.  Hollywood is increasingly becoming like comic books where characters die and then almost always come back to life somehow.

Unfortunately, it's a trend that's growing:  Here's a list of films that have just pretended the previous films in a franchise didn't exist.